BUCCANEERS 10 WESTPORT 8
Buccaneers U-15 yellow team finished their Connacht League campaign in a dramatic final at a sunlit Corrib ground on Saturday, a last kick of the match penalty edging the young Buccs to a 10-8 victory over Westport.
In a frustrating first half these young Buccs fell foul of the referee from the start and conceded penalties mainly for holding on or offside. Westport choose to run most of them and were met with stern defence led by prop Ciaran West whose appetite for tackling was infectious. On a couple of occasions the Mayo backline looked dangerous and on one of those broke through out wide to score an unconverted try. But by now Buccs were getting their own game going led by Oisin O’Donoghue and Jack Kelly and were unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions as they trailed 0-5 at halftime.
An interval reset brought a different Pirates team out for the second half and it wasn’t long before captain Senan Nugent scored a try converted by out half Rory Dolan. In one of their rare visits into the Buccs half Westport stroked over a penalty to go 8-7 ahead, but it was all Buccs for the final 15 minutes as they piled on the pressure. Crossing the line on at least three occasions it seemed that Buccs were going to be thwarted until they were awarded a penalty half way out on the right on the 22. The referee said “game over when the ball goes dead” and, after much deliberation, flyhalf Dolan strode up and struck the ball straight and true to snatch a thrilling 10-8 victory.
A dramatic climax to a great game and amid wild celebrations the league trophy was presented to the Buccs captain Nugent. The decision to field two teams in the league was fully justified as these players have greatly improved their rugby throughout the season with plenty of games ensuring continuous progression. Great credit is due to all mentors and players.
We now have a Ukrainian boy on our squad and Andrei is improving all the time. Best wishes for speedy recoveries to Tadgh Coleman, Eoin O’Sullivan and Reuben Colleran who although injured travelled to support the team.
BUCCANEERS:- A Browne, D Dullea, A Joyce, C West, D Stankard, O McLaughlin, E Claffey, P Bourke, R Nagle, H Hannon, J Kelly, O Egan, R Dolan, A Bellacemi, O O’Donoghue, S Nugent (captain), E Killeen, S Brett, A Connors, J Bourke, F O’Brien, A Cotton and D Cleary.